My name is Quinn Lentz. I’m a rising senior at The Ohio State University where I study economics and Spanish. I’m originally from Akron, Ohio, but growing up I spent many weekends in Columbus visiting my dad’s family at his childhood home here. When I graduated from high school in 2013, I followed my older brother and sister to Ohio State. Columbus was already a second home to me, so the transition into making it my primary one was hardly a transition at all.
During my search for summer internship opportunities this year, I considered an out-of-state internship program that required applicants to submit a proposal to effect social change. One suggested issue area was food and food availability. While completing the project out of state may have produced a positive impact in the host city, I wanted to see the connection between my actions and my community. I also wanted to contribute to a stronger, more connected Columbus rather than merely remain inside the university bubble.
My passion for food and for food justice has developed through a combination of coursework at OSU, independent research, and exploration of the city of Columbus. One of the greatest powers of good food is its tendency to foster community around preparing and sharing it. I also can speak from experience that I am never at my best when I’m hungry; a stomach full of delicious food is a powerful panacea. With these ideas in mind, I created the Summer Chefs project. I developed a program in which I could teach kids about urban gardening and cooking with fresh produce from a garden. I’m excited to see the Summer Chefs project increase food availability, fill stomachs, and build community.